Apr 27 2009
|What you’ll need:
Adobe Photoshop 7
(you might get away with version 6, but I’m not promising anything.)
The gall! The nerve! How dare I present a metallic Photoshop effect without using Motion Blur to get that brushed aluminum look. Where do I get off presenting a tutorial like this without using a chrome-creating Curves setting that looks like one of the roller coasters at Knott’s Berry Farm? I know, I know…but, fear not. There are no Blur filters used in this tutorial nor do I mess with the Curves setting, but I think you will be pleased with this subtle weathered metal effect and the Torch-cut Layer Style.
I will be using a 7″ by 2″ RGB document at 300 pixels per inch. This document size and setting is evidently a bit of a tradition in my type tutorials; the doctor says these routines help me feel safe… but I digress. Set your foreground color to R: 140, G: 125, B: 110 (a medium warm gray) and your background color to R: 170, G: 160, B: 140 (a light warm gray).
Choose Render>Clouds from the Filter menu.
Select all (Command-A) and choose Free Transform from the Edit menu (or hit Command-T). Using the Options window, enter a value of 400% into the Height scale field. Hit Enter to apply the value and hit it again to apply the transformation.
Apply 5% Gaussian Noise by selecting Filter>Noise>Add Noise… (make sure the check box beside “Monochromatic” is not checked). Next, choose Filter>Sharpen>Sharpen More.
Now, we can do this the easy way, or we can do it the hard way. We need to Apply the Lighting Effects filter, but there are a lot of settings to tweak.
If you’re game to tweak them, follow the screenshot below…I wish you luck.
If you just want to get on with life, download the MacMerc Lighting 1 preset and copy it to your Photoshop 7 folder, in Plug-ins, in Filters, in Lighting Styles. Once you’ve done that, choose Filter>Render>Lighting Effects… and choose “MacMerc Lighting 1″ from the window’s Style menu.
In order to add some texture to this metal, we’re going to create a channel that we’ll use to add a little imperfection to it. Start by opening the Channels palette if it isn’t already visible and click the “Create new channel” icon at the bottom of that palette. Your new channel should automatically be visible in the main window and your background color will be black and the foreground white. If this is not the case, do what you can to make it so.
Choose Render>Clouds from the Filter menu as you did before.
Now apply the Paint Daubs filter at a Brush Size of 1, a Sharpness of 16 with a Wide Sharp Brush Style. The Paint Daubs filter can be found among the Artistic effects in the Filter menu.
Again we are going to Select All and Transform. This time though, we’ll set the Width value at 200% and the Height value at 800%.
Apply the Sharpen More filter twice (found in Filters in the Sharpen category) and the texture is done.
Command-click your finished channel in the Channels palette to active it as a selection. Then click the RGB thumbnail in the Channels palette to bring our metal back to the forefront.
Choose Image>Adjustments>Hue/Saturation… (or hit Command-U) and enter a value of -180 for Hue, -43 for Saturation and +30 for Lightness. Once you’ve applied this adjustment, deselect (Command-D).
Now that’s more like it! Come on… now we do the type…
Now we have to set the “Smallville” type. Have a look at this screenshot from the show’s opening titles…
Any idea what font that is? My research leads me to conclude that it is Font Bureau’s Agency Black Condensed. If you don’t have it, don’t worry—most people won’t notice the difference if you use Helvetica Extra Black Condensed or even Impact.
I’ve set the word “SMALLVILLE” in all caps in 92pt Agency Black Condensed with the tracking set at 20 in the Character palette.
In the screenshot from the television show, you’ll notice that all but the first and last letters of the title have been arced. To achieve that effect, we’ll preserve the type layer we have just created, and duplicate it so that we can work on the arc. (Note: technically, the M in Smallville is not arced as much as it has been cropped at its base to follow the arc of the rest of the type. In the interest of keeping this tutorial as simple as possible, we’re just going to arc the M)
Using the duplicate type layer, choose the Type tool and select the whole word. Click the Warped Text button in the options menu and choose Arc Lower and set the Bend value to -25%. Next you’ll need to select the Move tool and hit Command-T. Click the top middle reference point in the options window (see that 3 x 3 configuration of small squares? click the middle one on the top row) and enter a value of 110% in the Height field and apply the transformation.
Okay, now we’re ready. Make sure you’ve downloaded the MacMerc Torch-cut Metal Layer Style and Load it into your Styles palette, cause we’re about to see some pay-off.
Duplicate your Metal Layer and apply the MacMerc Torch-cut Metal Layer Style to the duplicate. Hide all your type layers—we won’t need to see them anymore.
Command-click your original type layer to create a selection.
Using the Rectangular Selection tool and holding down the option key, carefully drag a marquee selection around all but the first and last letters of your type.
This leaves me with an S and an E. Choose Layer>Add Layer Mask>Reveal Selection.
Now Command-click your second type layer (the arced one) to create a selection. Using the Rectangular Selection tool again and holding down the option key, drag a marquee selection around the first and last letters of this selection. Make sure your layer mask thumbnail in the Layers palette is active and your foreground color is set to white and then hit Option-delete to add this selection to the mask. Deselect.
That’s it! What do you think?
If you feel adventurous, you can take an Eraser tool with a 5 pixel brush to the layer mask and add some viscious looking cuts to the letters, but I’ll leave that up to you.